Beginning Your Transformation
“Behold, I am doing something new. Now, it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert, I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers.” Isaiah 43:19
Transformation is never easy. It takes a lot of work and it takes time. It’s important to realize that we need to have balance in our lives for us to truly be the people God calls us to be.
This blog is deeply rooted in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). Ignatian Spirituality places great emphasis on Cura Personalis, which means “care for the entire person,” and we here at Making All Things New desire to continue that same mission of caring for each person: body, mind and spirit.
For us to be fully who God calls us to be, we must all strive to take care of these three aspects of life, and work towards finding a balance among them. There’s no doubt that such a balance isn’t easily achieved and takes constant effort. Our hope and prayer is that you find the resources you need here at Making All Things New to help you achieve a deeper relationship with God and the transformed life that each of us desires.
This is especially true for those of you who have come to this site looking for help dealing with a chronic illness. If you find yourself feeling a bit lost and in a desert of uncertainty, we know that God has a plan for you, and a future full of hope. We’re here to help you develop your own transformation plan, one in which God plays a key role.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that we face some major health crises today. Obesity, Type II diabetes, high blood pressure… The list goes on and on. For many people suffering with these illnesses, medical research proves that making simple lifestyle changes can have a very positive effect, sometimes completely reversing their medical condition.
After my diagnosis of Type II Diabetes in April of 2009, I felt totally overwhelmed and not sure what to do. Of course, my doctor would monitor my condition, prescribing medicine and encouraging me to change my diet and exercise more. But being a spiritual person, I also listen to what God was saying to me.
Through prayer, I realized that I needed to make some big changes in all areas of my life. Reading 1 Corinthians 6:19 helped me to realize that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, that it doesn’t just belong to me, and that I needed to glorify God through my body. What a wake-up call, which came just in the nick of time.
Luckily for me, several months before my diagnosis, I began integrating some aspects of Ignatian Spirituality into my life. I learned that St. Ignatius, in his Spiritual Exercises, included eight “Rules for Eating,” which, when used, helped people pay much more attention to what they were putting into their bodies, and challenged them to see food more for nourishment than for pleasure, eating only what they needed to keep themselves healthy.
Through my own research, I learned from people like Dr. Neal Barnard, an expert in diabetes, that Type II diabetes could be reversed without prescription medicine by changing to a vegan diet. Dr. Barnard said Hippocrates had it right when he said “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.”
Although it was not at all easy, I did move to a vegan diet, and with daily walking for my exercise (one hour each day), I quickly lost 65 pounds and my blood glucose levels returned to normal range. This didn’t happen all on it’s own. I had to work hard to achieve these results, not only through changes in diet and exercise, but also through ongoing learning and prayer.
When St. Paul was writing to the people of Rome, he encouraged them to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…” (Romans 12:1). Paul, however didn’t stop there. He went on to challenge his readers not to conform themselves to this world, but rather “be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
It’s been our experience that most people to find Making All Things New visit this site because they are looking for answers. Maybe they have spiritual questions. Maybe they have health issues. Or it could be that they want to learn more about Ignatian spirituality. Whatever it was that brought you here, we hope to be of help to you as you discern your own transformation We’ve had visitors from just about every country on the planet, and we have several years worth of thought-provoking posts.
As we grow together in wisdom and understanding, our goal is “know You, the only true God, and the One whom you sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17:3).
When I got my diagnosis of Type II diabetes, I was very active in full time ministry. While I would have told you that my prayer life was good and that I felt close to God, when I began learning about St. Ignatius’ spirituality and integrating some new spiritual practices found in this tradition, I quickly realized that I had an awful lot to learn.
Since my childhood, I had always felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, but through St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, I developed a much more profound awareness of God’ ongoing activity in my life. I felt called to “find God in all things,” both the good and not so good aspects of life, including chronic illness.
Sometimes those dealing with serious health issues find themselves feeling as though God has abandoned them, that He’s not answering their prayers or hearing their cries for instant healing. But God promised us that He “will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
I have great confidence in my belief that you have made it to this website for a reason, and that the God has a plan for you. As you move through this website, I hope you’ll let these words spoken to the Prophet Jeremiah encourage you, no matter what your situation. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot” (Jeremiah 29:11-14).
At Making All Things New, you’ll find new ways to seek God in your daily life, new methods of prayer rooted in the Spirituality of St. Ignatius, and an ever growing awareness that God wants to partner with you and make the world a better place, one person at a time.